The Role of Media Relations
It is difficult to come up with a single definition of media relations. Media relations has a wide range of applications.
It essentially means working with the media to inform the public of the practices, policies, and mission of an organization.
It is a subset of PR. Sometimes, it can also have a defensive purpose and aim to help a company maintain its positive image.
Earlier, the outlets of media relations were restricted to radio, TV shows, magazines, and newspapers. In today’s digital world, they can include everything from blog authors to influencers.
Media Relations, Marketing, and Promotion
Most of the time, media relations programs are a part of a larger campaign to achieve a particular objective.
For instance, a food company’s main aim is to increase its sales.
The introduction of a new product will help the company to achieve its goal.
The consumer demand is for healthier foods.
The company introduces a line of black bean chips which have less calories but come in unique flavors like sour cream and garden fresh salsa.
The chips have the same price as the higher-fat ones. Distribution channels to all major retailers are also set up.
The chips are also mentioned in different social media platforms of the organization.
This combination of the product, distribution, and promotion is called a marketing mix.
All the components of a marketing mix are equally important. Promotion is crucial as customers must have a reason to buy something new.
Reasons to Set up a Media Relations Program
If a business has to do well, it has to enjoy the trust of its customers. Lack of trust will lead to loss of sales.
A media relations program helps to generate trust, goodwill, and prestige which helps to attract new clients and shareholders.
It also helps to educate the public on how to choose and use products.
In order to diversify a business an organization can also test-market a new idea or launch a new product or service.
An effective media relations program can also insulate an organization during a crisis.
Public Relations and Media Relations
The term public relations and media relations are sometimes used interchangeably, but they involve different types of promotions.
PR means the development and execution of different strategies of communication that intend to influence the attitude of the public towards an organization.
They often achieve this through activities like sponsorship of events, and providing information that is in the public interest.
Such activities may not depend on media coverage to be effective.
Media relations aims at maintaining relationships with reporters or writers who cover stories and articles relevant to an organization.
The aim of media relations is to communicate information about an organization and its goals to educate the public.
Benefits of Media Relations
An important benefit of media relations is that it can help a business to become an authority in its space.
When stories are published through reputable platforms, a business automatically gets a boost in credibility.
This can also prove to be vital in times of a crisis.
A crisis can be detrimental to a brand. If a brand has an existing relation with the media, they can send the appropriate message to the public in time.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States.
With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.